At the end of my sophomore year in high school, I was anxious for summer break to begin. To my surprise, my parents had been saving for a two-week trip to Alaska! My family enjoys nature and is delighted in the majesty of wild life and surrounding environments. When we first arrived by plane landing in Anchorage, I was excited to start a real camping experience by living off the land versus staying in hotels and fine dinning. My favorite activities were camping and fishing on the Kenai Peninsula. Nothing could surpass the joy of fishing on that pristine river in the early a.m. watching the sunrise at Anchor Point. Although, coming within fifteen feet of a moose off highway 1 and standing just as close to several bald eagles in Homer are rare encounters as well. These and other events contributed to my belief that the planet is a unique and distinctive creation that needs to be protected. This is how my Alaska experience influenced me.
In present society, there are innumerable species of vegetation, animals, and other living organisms and all of these species need an environment in which they can live in. In Alaska for example, there are over a million species of birds that flock to reserved habitats annually. These birds and many other organisms in their surrounding habitats are protected from outside human activity and therefore have become as numerous as the grains of sand on a beach. This reality remains true because the state and national parks that cover millions of square miles across the country. Without these reserved lands, society would not be able to have experiences similar to mine. Thanks to President Roosevelt’s initiation of the national park system and a public works program, such reserved lands are protected by state rules and regulations so that people can enjoy the parks without devastating the neighboring environment. This ultimately presents an opportunity for endangered species to live in their natural habitats and stabilize their kind. At another advantage, the vast forests within some of the parks counteract the high levels of CO2 with the oxygen they produce, which is a necessary element for life to exist.
These lands also provide many benefits for society as well. For example, the national parks system establishes jobs for many individuals who maintain the parks, and can provide tours as well, such as Exit Glacier in Seward. This, in return, attracts tourists, who pay a park fee, which cover expenses to maintain the park and is another source of revenue for the state. Furthermore, when most tourists visit the parks, during their stay, they might purchase souvenirs or clothing as a remembrance of their experiences. Lastly, even the souvenirs play a special role in promoting the park system. Their advertisement supports that individual park by increasing attendance through pictorial curiosities.
In conclusion, my visit in Alaska was an experience I will never forget and would recommend to anyone who has the capability to travel there. I will always remember the awe-inspiring scenery and the breath taking emotion that a person can feel as they stand before America’s largest mountain; Mt. McKinley (located in Denali National Park). It truly was the trip of a lifetime.
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